Jose Mourinho criticises starting players after Champions League defeat by Valencia

Jose Mourinho criticised Manchester United’s starting players after their limp Champions League loss to Valencia, saying he “did not learn anything”.

The 2-1 defeat saw United miss a chance to top Group H but Mourinho said it was still a “success” to finish second.

United had already secured a last-16 place and made eight changes to their line-up in Valencia.

“Nothing that happened surprised me at all,” said Mourinho when asked if he had learned anything about his players.

“I didn’t learn anything from this game.”

United, who play Liverpool in the Premier League on Sunday, recalled midfielders Paul Pogba, Fred, Marouane Fellaini and Andreas Pereira, plus defenders Antonio Valencia, Eric Bailly and Marcos Rojo and goalkeeper Sergio Romero.

Three substitutes were involved in United’s late goal, with Ashley Young and Jesse Lingard playing key roles in the build-up to Marcus Rashford scoring. But Valencia were already 2-0 up after Carlos Soler’s low strike and a Phil Jones own goal.

As well as criticising his starting line-up Mourinho expressed his frustration at having to make substitutions he “did not want to make”.

“I expect (better) from my players, especially players that week in, week out, you ask me ‘why don’t they play?’, ‘why they don’t they start?’ the United manager said.

“(It) was a good match to play, a match without any kind of pressure, a match in a competition that everybody likes to play.

“And, in the end, my team improved, really, when I made the changes that I didn’t want to make, which is a little bit of frustration because I didn’t want to play the three players that I played in the second half.”

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